This post is part 2 of my calisthenics journey, if you haven’t read part 1 you can find it here.
Once I had decided that I wanted to start calisthenics the next step was to work out what I needed to learn to build up my strength so I could start skills training.
If I’m honest this was quite daunting as there’s a wealth of information out there and I really wasn’t sure where to start.
I think I took the standard approach here and searched for “How to start calisthenics as a beginner”, “Beginner calisthenics workout” etc.
The issue I found was most of the videos didn’t really explain required strength, progressions, and the importance of warming up.
I happened to stumble across the barstarzz youtube channel which at the time I didn’t realise how influential they were in the calisthenics scene.
After spending a good few hours watching their videos I thought I had a good idea of what I needed to do, it turns out this wasn’t the case after all.
As good as the videos were I still had no idea how to structure a workout routine for strength building, the only thing I knew was individual exercises that I could do without the understanding of why i was actually doing them.
At this time I couldn’t find a good free routine to follow so I just made my routine up as I went along, I actually made pretty good progress but soon hit a plateau as I didn’t know what I should do next.
Buying An Online Programme
Looking for answers on the barstarzz youtube channel I saw their advert for the new BTX programme.
I watched the promo video and got myself on the waiting list, a few weeks past and I had forgotten I had signed up, at this stage, I was doing the same strength building routine.
On the day that barstarzz opened for beta testing, I received an email asking me to finish my registration, I noticed that the programme was $97.
I’ve never bought an online programme before and was a bit put off by the price, I thought about it for a few days before I decided that to progress I needed to invest in myself.
It turns out that this was the best decision I made as the BTX programme taught me how to structure an effective programme and taught me what I had to learn if I wanted to start skills training.
Selecting Which Skills I Wanted To Learn
Choosing which skills I wanted to learn first was actually more difficult than I thought it would be as I wanted to learn them all but I knew this wasn’t doable as a beginner.
Looking at the more advanced skills like the Planche I noticed that learning the handstand was advised and learning to handstand seemed to be a “must have” calisthenics skill.
Learning how to handstand builds the strength and balance for some of the most advanced skills and is achievable by a complete beginner with practice.
I had decided that I was going to learn how to handstand but I still wanted to aim for a couple more skills.
The next skill I decided to start working towards was the muscle up, the muscle up is probably the most well-known calisthenics skill and is a great demonstration of strength when performed with strict form.
One of the main aims of the BTX programme is to achieve your first muscle up by week 10 which fitted into my plan perfectly.
Being able to only complete 4 pull ups when I started btx I was pleased that I had a structured workout plan to follow which would help me learn how to muscle up.
The last skill I set my sights on was the back lever, the back lever looks simple but is far from it.
The back and front lever are really impressive skills to learn as you are suspending your body in mid air requiring a good level of strength and flexibility.
Now I knew what skills I wanted to learn I could tailor my workouts around those skills which worked perfectly with the BTX programme.
Just in case you wondered if I got my first muscle up by week 10….
I got my first muscle up by week 9 which was awesome!
This article is the second part of a 4 part series following my calisthenics journey.
Part 3 of my calisthenics journey will be looking at how my routines were structured and my progress I was/wasn’t making with my selected skills.